ABC of winter driving
Let’s take a closer look at the factors that affect riding an electric scooter in winter.
Battery maintenance and care need to be stressed on in winter conditions. The battery is one of the most important parts of an electric scooter, which is sensitive to cold. In winter, when the weather gets colder, the battery life is shorter and it consumes more power over the same distance than in the summer months. This means that the driving range of an electric scooter will be reduced.
It’s important to make sure that the battery is always fully charged before setting off, as it will drain power more quickly in the winter months. The best thing you can do for your electric scooter in winter is to avoid leaving it outside in the cold. Take your board indoors whenever possible and only start charging the battery once it has warmed up to room temperature, this will significantly extend battery life. Lithium-ion batteries should not be charged below 0 degrees Celsius (°C). This can damage the battery internally and shorten its life.
Also make sure that the driving temperature does not exceed the operating temperature of the device. The optimum operating temperature for electric scooter varies between different manufacturers, for example, the S9 Plus electric scooter has an operating temperature of 40-(-10)°C. In most cases, you can find the operating temperature of the product in the manual. You can also always contact your dealer or the manufacturer.
Here are some recommendations and warnings to help you keep your electric scooter in good condition in winter:
- Increase the number of charges – never let the battery run down completely.
- Do not charge the battery immediately after driving in the cold – always charge the battery indoors in a warm and dry place.
- Store the electric scooter indoors at room temperature and in a dry place.
- Check the operating temperature of the model of your electric scooter. Do not drive below the manufacturer’s specified temperature.
- If you don’t use your electric scooter in winter, charge the battery every 2-3 weeks to keep it in good condition.
- Do not physically heat the battery – let it warm up slowly indoors.
The wheels of an electric scooter are the only thing that connect you to the ground. They are one of the most important safety factors to which you need to pay particular attention. Winter riding requires stability and grip control, so make sure your electric scooter has pneumatic (air-inflated) tyres – these offer better manoeuvrability, grip and stability compared to sealed tyres.
The better the tread on your tyres, the more grip you have on the road. If you have the option of changing your tyres to off-road, studded or studded tyres in winter, the better tread will give you grip on wet or icy surfaces. Avoid using worn tyres. Another thing to consider is the width of the tyre – a wider tyre will have better control on slippery surfaces.
To improve your tyres’ performance in winter, you can ensure that they are slightly softer in winter. This gives you better stability and makes it harder for the electric scooter to slide. For better grip, lower the tyre pressures slightly. With less pressure, the tyre bites the ground better, which reduces the risk of slipping, and braking works better. Gradually lower the tyre pressure and test how your driving experience improves. When conditions improve, you can return the tyre to normal air pressure.
However, be careful when lowering the air pressure on tyres with inner tubes. This can expose the inner tubes to excessive wear.
Maintenance and Service
For the maintenance of your electric scooter, you should clean it as often as possible. In winter, your electric scooter is likely to be exposed to rain, snow, slush and mud. Although some scooters are waterproof, few are completely waterproof, so you should protect all electrical components from water, especially the motor and battery.
For the same reason, you must not immerse any part of an electric kickboard in water or spray them with high pressure. For cleaning, you can use a damp microfibre cloth in combination with a detergent. Remember not to leave parts wet after cleaning. This can cause rust or corrosion, which will shorten the lifespan of your scooter.
Another thing to remember is that many places will spray salt on the roads to melt the ice, which improves the quality of the road, but is not good for your board in terms of rust. Once your vehicle is clean, you can consider using an anti-corrosion spray to protect the aluminium parts against corrosion.
You may also consider using battery maintenance grease, which prevents moisture from getting into the wiring of electrical components. The important thing is not to let the dirt build up. Under no circumstances should you allow dirt or water to freeze on the electric scooter.
Safety and clothing
Using an electric scooter in winter weather conditions means that you have to take into account not only your vehicle but also external factors. Your journey is outdoors, so you are personally exposed to the cold outdoor air, unlike when you are in your car. Whether it’s windy, rainy or snowy, the cold will quickly set in if you don’t take proper precautions and dress properly. Wearing the right clothing and safety equipment can prevent illness and injury.
The cold causes a few different dangers: you may become distracted and concentrate more on the cold than on the driving itself, which can lead to an accident. Your reflexes will also be impaired if you are too cold to react quickly. This is why it is important to dress warmly and protect yourself from the wind. Dress warmly, but don’t dress in layers that are too thick and hinder your movement and alertness.
A windproof jacket and trousers are a good starting point to keep the cold out. Also wear appropriate winter shoes to keep your feet warm and dry.
Cycling or ski goggles are also a good idea to keep your visibility up at all times. Although a helmet is not compulsory when riding an electric scooter, it is recommended, especially in winter. Head injuries are serious and should be avoided at all costs. Winter sleet exposes you to a percentage of additional damage that, in certain circumstances, may not even be within your control. So wearing a helmet is indeed recommended.
You must also protect your hands with good gloves. This is critical, if you can’t feel your fingers you won’t be able to get a proper grip on the handlebars or brake if necessary. Winter driving requires a fully alert mind and physical reactions to minimise potential risks.
Preparation is key when driving in harsh winter conditions. Take care of your limbs (arms and legs), and don’t underestimate the effect of the cold on you. The weather can change at a moment’s notice, so it’s best to always be prepared. Wear or pack as much windproof clothing and safety equipment as possible to avoid frostbite and additional risks.
Even if you are equipped with all possible safety equipment, it doesn’t help if you don’t adapt your driving style to winter conditions. Driving in warm summer weather is very different from driving on a slippery road where snow limits visibility. If you’re one of those who likes to slip between cars and take risks, winter is not the time to test your driving skills.
The key is to slow down and concentrate on steering steadily – avoid sudden moves or sudden turns. Slow and steady is better! Remember that your electric scooter is not designed for water, so it’s best to avoid ponds and potholes where possible. You can’t always see how deep the water is, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Driving conditions are more dangerous in winter for both motorists and electric scooter users, so be alert and pay attention to everything around you. If you are alert and able to react quickly, you can avoid dangerous situations and unnecessary accidents.
Never assume that others have noticed you, especially when driving in poor conditions (low visibility). Drivers don’t expect to see an electric scooter in bad weather. Make sure you make eye contact with motorists to make sure they have noticed you before you continue your journey. In this context, you can also do things to improve your visibility on the roads. Wear bright and reflective clothing or stick reflective tape or tape on your helmet, arms, back of your jacket and shoes.